Perhaps better known for his Côte-Rôties, Pierre Gaillard is obviously comfortable working with schist. Transhumance is an intense and complex wine, with assertive notes of kirsch, sweet smoke, wild game and garrigue accents of thyme, rosemary and violet. Rich and lush in the mouth, the texture is like crushed velvet and the finish evolves from a dark fruit blast…
Unusual for the region in that it’s mostly Roussanne. The result is slightly more floral and expressive than most Saint-Joseph blancs, with pear and spice notes delivered in a plump, full-bodied format. Picks up hints of oak on the finish, but this isn’t an oaky wine at all. Drink now–2010.
Gaillard’s Clos de Cuminaille shows substantial new oak, but it’s reasonably balanced by dark fruit and pepper. It’s round in the mouth, with a supple, velvety feel—it may be a touch modern or international, but it still retains a sense of place. Drink now.